Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia. The properties of eucalyptus oil and its "numerous health benefits," says Organic Facts, have led to its being incorporated in numerous over-the-counter medicines, in aromatherapy products and put to other health-related uses. Eucalyptus trees grow quite quickly and require trimming to keep them in good shape and from taking over your backyard. There are numerous methods for trimming eucalyptus trees, to control height or encourage branching. The following is a basic method for pruning that will help keep your eucalyptus tree looking attractive and manageable.
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Things you need
- Vinegar and water spray
- Pruning shears
- Gardening gloves
Trim your eucalyptus tree during the heat of summer. Pruning in the late fall or during winter months is not beneficial to the eucalyptus tree and can cause branches to die back and the tree to become diseased. Refrain from trimming eucalyptus during extremely humid weather, as this makes leaves more prone to fungal infection.
Clean your pruning shears with vinegar and water spray before beginning the trimming process. Look for branches that are rubbing against or crossing over other branches that are less than 5 cm (2 inches) thick. These branches can be removed without damaging the tree.
Use the shears to cut off these small branches to allow for better circulation of wind to through the tree as well as more light penetration. Only cut off lower branches that are dead or diseased; use a clean saw to make these cuts. Trim branches around the top of the tree only if the tree is too heavy on top--such trimming is usually not necessary.
Cut away any water sprouts at the base of the tree. Use pruning wound dressing over all large cuts to prevent infection. Sap can bleed out when making cuts, although the hot weather helps cuts heal much more quickly.
Tips and warnings
- Topping, or the removal of large, upright branches between nodes, is considered a harmful pruning practice. Tipping, which requires cutting lateral branches between nodes, is also harmful to trees; use crown reduction pruning instead if the tops of trees must be trimmed.
- Eucalyptus trees older than six years do not require much trimming except for dead or diseased branches.
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